Total Time
4hrs
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 1 hr

Oh my gosh, this cake takes time, effort and energy, but the results are WELL worth it and it is actually easier than it looks. This is a beautiful cake and everyone RAVES over it. You can make the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them for up to a month (thaw them at room tem before assembling the cake). The meringues can be baked a day ahead of time and store in tins. The cream cheese filling can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • CAKE Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or you can use almond(I've tried both)
  • 2 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 14 cup dutch process cocoa
  • 23 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 12 cup butter, softened
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • GANACHE

  • 34 cup whipping cream
  • 24 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped (Ghirdelli)
  • MERINGUES

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 12 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 18 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped (Ghirdelli)

Directions

  1. FOR CAKE:.
  2. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter at medium speed until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and beat well.
  5. Add egg yolks, one at a time and beat until well blended after each addition.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and 2 teaspoons flavoring.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and cocoa. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture; beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition until well blended.
  8. Stir in the pecans and mix well.
  9. Fold in the beaten egg whites and pour the batter into 3 well greased 9 inch cake pans.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove cake to wire racks to cool completely.
  12. CREAM CHEESE FILLING:.
  13. Beat the first four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  14. Once the cake cools completely, spread this filling between the layers.
  15. GANACHE:.
  16. Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  17. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted.
  18. Cool until ganache becomes a spreading consistency (stirring often).
  19. Frost the top and sides of the cake with ganache reserving 1/2 cup.
  20. MERINGUES:.
  21. Beat the egg whites, vinegar and salt at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.
  22. Gradually add sugar; beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves.
  23. Fold in chocolate.
  24. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake at 250°F for 35 minutes.
  25. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  26. Once cool, mound meringues on top of cake to form a small mountain, beginning at the sides and working in, layering 3-4 layers high. Drizzle the meringues with the remaining ganache.
  27. TO SERVE THE CAKE:.
  28. Before cutting, remove the meringues with small tongs and use them as a garnish on each cake serving.
  29. TO STORE:.
  30. IF you have any cake left, store it in the refrigerator without the meringues. Store the meringues in an airtight container at room temperature.
Most Helpful

5 5

I can't think of any poetic words which would do this beautiful and delicious cake justice so I hope the photos speak for themselves. You are right, Sherrybeth...it IS some work but it IS worth it. What a spectacle...both in looks and in taste. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Made for Chef-I-Am's Cake-a-thon.